Excerpt from WIP

Since I’m not blogging as much, using what few spare brain cells I have adding words to my current WIP. I thought it was about time I posted something besides tweets. Except, I don’t have a brilliant subject for a post, so I’ll just post a paragraph or two from what I’m working on now. This section is after the great dina_james has bloodied it for me and I bound the wounds….um, that metaphor is getting icky….anyway, it’s had one brutally honest crit with me fixing the bad parts. Enjoy!

Sounds of explosions and beeps ran under their voices as they played on Mark’s dad’s fifty-two inch projection TV in the condo living room. Mark and Jason laid on their stomachs on two of the beige cushions facing the five foot tall console. Bowls half-filled with potato chips within easy reach sat in front of them.

The Atari sat to the left on the bottom shelf. Mark’s dad, Tom Weber, was into latest-and-greatest, and each shelf held a piece of expensive electronics. Mr. Weber liked to impress his guests with his two VCRs, dual tape deck and a new CD player on the bookcase under the cable box.

Jason turned onto his right elbow and asked, “Hey Mark, wanna do swimming lessons with me this year?”

Eyes focused intently on the screen, Mark tilted his hands left and right to guide his bombs to hit a fast moving submarine before he answered, “Can’t. I’m going to my grandma’s tomorrow for the summer. Remember?”

Jason finished turning and looking up at the lumpy ‘popcorn’ ceiling, said, “Yeah, right. I forgot. Bummer!”

A ship exploded on the screen and Mark crowed, “Ha! New top score!” He jumped up to do a victory dance on the cushions.

The front door opened and he froze in mid-dance. Jason propped himself up by his elbows and saw Mark’s mother, Mrs. Weber, in the doorway, hand on the doorknob. A short plump woman of Mexican ancestry, she wore a professional navy blue pant-suit, and a disapproving frown on her face.

She wiggled her keys out of the lock and said, “Jason, I need you to go home now.” Her voice was frigidly polite with no accent.

Jason knew better than to argue. He leaped up and said, “Yes’m,” and turned to Mark and lightly punched him on the shoulder. “Have fun this summer at your grandma’s. Bye.”

Mrs. Weber’s eyes followed her son’s friend as if he’d suddenly turn and run away from the door instead of leaving. Like a cat casually walking around a bulldog, Jason sauntered past her unconcerned. When he was out, she shut the door and locked it.

His friend gone, Mrs. Weber screamed, “Look at this mess!” Arms waving at the cushions on the floor she ordered, “Pick those up immediately! And look at the crumbs you got all over them!”

Mark hopped to put them back on the sectional. The game sounds continued behind him, ignored.

“You better get them put exactly where they’re supposed to be or there’ll be hell to pay, Mister!” She stormed around the sectional to drop her designer purse on the flat copper dish sitting a narrow oak table, the exact spot she put it every night. Her keys clanked loudly on the metal when she dropped them next to it.

Mark flew to put the living room back to rights. Cushions in place, he quickly punched buttons to turn off the TV and the Atari, then turned on the radio and set the knob to his mother’s favorite Mexican radio station.

“And don’t forget those bowls!” Mrs. Weber’s voice came from the kitchen, where Mark heard her bang open the oven door.

He stooped over to grab the two bowls from the floor, then cautiously crept to the kitchen to put them in the sink. Before he entered, he dumped the few chips left in one bowl into the other. He’d eat them in his room, as soon as he could get there.

His mother stood with the refrigerator open, and had her back to him. Softly, he walked behind her and dropped the empty bowl in the sink.

“You need to go pack,” she said without looking away from the casserole she took from the fridge to put in the oven. “We’re leaving in the morning.”

“Okay,” he mumbled and hurried out. Fortunately, she didn’t follow him back to his room.


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